"In the place of a Dark Lord you would have a Queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the Morn! Treacherous as the Seas! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair!"—Galadriel, The Lord of the Rings
Love is something best given freely, not demanded; it's something that has to be earned and worked at to keep alive, not a one sided entitlement. However the Love Hungry character didn't get the memo. They are so insecure, greedy and/or starved of affection they don't care: they want absolute, unconditional and perpetual love and feel that the ends justify the means. They won't settle for being merely loved by others, but in having their love enslaved to always do so. Even a genuinely kind person may become Love Hungry by being broken by fear of losing their love, anger at rejection, jealousy for another's love, or a narcissistic desire to be the most loved.
This character may try to gain love through sabotaging other's relationships, deception, manipulation, propaganda or even murder. If they lack this finesse or get really desperate, they may kidnap the person(s) that they want to love them and try to create Stockholm Syndrome. Of course, this Tragic Dream usually gets the opposite result, with the target becoming angry or fearful and rejecting the Love Hungry. The presence of magic and powers usually means that Love Is in the Air, Charm Person and Glamours will be used to create this forced love.
This plot usually has An Aesop about not forcing others to love you, and many characters who try this regret doing so before long and return wiser to the Status Quo Is God. If they don't, it usually means they'll do a Face Heel Turn before long.
Compare the Yandere, who is violent about keeping their lover. Compare All Take and No Give, where the taker tries to force someone into loving and serving them. See also Love Makes You Crazy. Relate to Happiness Is Mandatory and Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul, where happy emotions are forced on others.
- In the backstory material for Code Geass, CC, then a young slave, who is adorable but has never had a best friend, wishes that everyone would love her. It quickly becomes a Be Careful What You Wish For tale as she learns that if you force everyone to love you, then none of it will be genuine. Full spoilers here.
- In The Rescuers, Babysitter From Hell Madame Medusa lampshades this. Penny might have been willing to accept Medusa as a foster parent if Medusa had not prioritized obtaining the MacGuffin over Penny's safety. Spoilers here.
Madame Medusa: Snoops, you don't have a way with children. (sweetly) You must gain their confidence... make them like you.
Snoops: Yeah? How do you do that?
Madame Medusa: (angrily) You FORCE them to like you, idiot!
Literature[edit | hide]
- Rare, heroic example - The Child-Goddess Aphrael from David Eddings' Sparhawk setting. Rather than 'romantic' love, she aims for 'parental' affection, but it's no less binding, and she's perfectly ruthless about it, going so far as to be incarnated as Sparhawk's biological daughter, just so she'd have a stronger hold over him.
- The Belgariad provides a darker example. The Big Bad God of Evil, Torak, is driven by the need to be loved, by which he forces his people to make Human Sacrifice to appease him. At the climax of the series, he attempts to use his godly will to force Polgara to become his willing bride, and her ability to refuse him is what causes him to be defeated. Afterward, it's revealed that the other gods and his mother the Universe did love him, but he couldn't recognize it because he was so essentially narcissistic and self-centered that to him love meant obedience and abasement.
- In The Lord of the Rings, this is what would become of Galadriel if she had succumbed to the Ring and claimed it for her own. The current page quote is Galadriel's way of telling Frodo this.
Tabletop RPG[edit | hide]
- One of the vignettes in Demon: The Fallen has a recently released demon in possession of a human woman (it's closer to a Mental Fusion). She's tempted by an Eldritch Abomination with enough power to get everything she wants, and part of that included mentally enslaving her already loving husband to never stop loving her. Like Galadriel, she realizes the vision is ultimately hurtful and refuses.
- On one episode of Fairly Oddparents due to Timmy's Wish, he and Trixie are the only two male and female left on the planet, and although Timmy initially enjoys being with his Love Interest due to Trixie's attention demanding personality, she wants Timmy to show her the attention that normally lots and lots of people would give to her, eventually exploding into full-on Yandere mode.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Best Night Ever," Fluttershy tries to get the woodland creatures around the gala to come to her in a Friend to All Living Things fashion. For some reason they're all scared of her (she usually can get wild animals to flock to her and sing on cue), and she slowly cracks to the point of trying to capture them all, culminating in causing a stampede of wild animals fleeing her in terror and ending with the page quote.